Story by Sam Forman

A concerned young High Times reader recently wrote in with the following:

I eat at McDonald’s almost every day. I know that it’s bad for me and I should try to eat a more balanced meal, but it’s just so good, cheap, and fast. I can’t walk past a McDonald’s without going in and ordering something. I think I might be addicted. What should I do? —Big Mac Panic Attack

What follows is not so much an answer to your question; I’m afraid there are no easy answers for those of us similarly afflicted. I can simply tell my story, as one who understands all too well, the tantalizing allure of those golden arches.

My recently estranged live-in actress girlfriend and I are what many people in this country might rightly refer to as ‘typical New York artsy liberals.’ An average day for us, during the deeply self-absorbed eternity we spent together as a couple, usually consists of finding new and increasingly ruthless ways to promote our respective show business careers. (Just a few weeks ago, she discovered the time- honored tradition of sleeping her way to the top, a technique that, we have both now realized, can truly do a great disservice to any relationship, even amongst young, hip theater folk.) At night, as a reward for a long day of schmoozing and ego-gratification, my love and I would customarily sit down with a freshly steeped pot of herbal tea in our spacious Upper West Side living room and proceed to indulge ourselves in a fine whine about the sorry state of the world and what we, as "socially conscious" artists, should be doing to save it.

On one such evening, after having just finished reading Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser’s admittedly horrifying behind-the-scenes account of the fast food industry. Our favorite local liberal newspaper, the New York Times, claimed Fast Food Nation: "will make you think twice about the fallout that the fast food industry has had on the social and cultural landscape." My lady-friend decided that it was now our moral imperative to inform the "ignorant and uneducated masses" of the nutritional and societal dangers that all their reckless fast food consumption has wrought.

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